Yesterday, Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), said that it had determined that it was intentional, not the result of an accident or defect.
But in a new statement today, NASA has a different perspective to share with you. He did his best to refute some of the comments made by Russian counterparts, noting that he did not immediately conclude that the hole was essentially destructive.
The full NASA statement is as follows:
On August 29, 2018, the International Space Station discovered a small hole. It caused a pressure leak but was identified and repaired by the staff.
Russian media recently quoted Rogozin as saying that the loophole is not a manufacturing defect. Excluding this shows that this is an isolated issue that does not have a significant impact on future work.
This conclusion does not necessarily mean that the vulnerability was deliberate, and both NASA and Roscosmos are investigating the incident to determine the cause. The International Space Station plans to conduct a spacewalk in November to gather more information (checking the hole from the outside).
On October 11th, NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian astronaut Alexey Ovchinin will fly from the Baikonur space launch site in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station on the MS-10 space shuttle.
NASA Director Bridenstine will attend the event and meet with Roscosmos Director Rogozin for the first time. As early as September 12th, they had a conversation on this matter (the International Space Station breaching the hole).